I always say, if Walter White had a superpower, it wouldn’t be his intellect. He’s got all of that and those are wonderful tools in his toolbox, but Walt’s main superpower is his ability to lie. I think he’s the greatest liar on the planet, and the guy he lies to most consistently and with the most success is himself. This is a guy who rationalizes some of the worst behavior we’ve ever seen on television, and he does it by continually telling himself this very simple story. “I do what I do for my family. I’m a man. Sometimes a man has to go out and get his hands dirty and work hard.” But if he does it for the good of his family, if he does it to keep food on the table and to keep them whole, then it’s all right. I think that’s really where Walt’s head is at.
If you sat him down and said, “You’re a monster. You don’t need this money. What are you doing? You’re destroying you’re family,” he would look at you with bewilderment. He wouldn’t follow what you’re saying. To that end, this is why this guy interests me so much. We all know people who rationalize. In fact, we have all as human beings rationalized questionable behavior — for most of us, nothing ever nearly as questionable as cooking crystal meth, but we’ve all had moments in our lives where we’ve taken a morally questionable shortcut or we’ve mistreated somebody in some way that we felt okay in doing because we rationalized certain behaviors. We’ve all had those moments we’re not that proud of. But in the moment, we say, “Well, nobody’s looking. I’ll go ahead and do this thing because, what the hell. I’m sticking it to the man,” whatever the case may be. I think Walt is that level of somewhat self-destructive rationalization. I think he’s a fascinating character, and I think he is a warning to us.